Bank Street College:
Center for Early Care & Education
The two programs offered by the Center for Early Care and Education (CECE), a department in Bank Street’s Division of Continuing Education (DCE), are not only about promoting quality in childcare services, but also about enhancing the lives of our students and helping them progress in their chosen professions. The first program is the Head Start Training Institute Child Development Associate Program, located in Bedford Stuyvesant, in Brooklyn. In 1995, Bank Street College/DCE entered into collaboration with the New York City Administration for Children’s Services Head Start to begin this effort. The aim was to help Head Start parents and assistant teachers get training that would enable them to obtain and/or maintain permanent employment in a Head Start center. The CDA program is a national initiative that provides childcare and early education professionals with performance based training, assessment, and credentials. It is directed at those who work with infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and their families. A Child Development Associate (CDA) is an individual who has successfully completed a CDA assessment and has been awarded the CDA credential. The Council for Professional Recognition, in Washington, DC, operates the CDA National Credentialing Program. A CDA candidate must complete 120 hours of professional development in early care and education.
The second program CECE offers is the Bank Street College of Education Child Development Associate Credential (CDA), a yearlong, on-campus, Infant/Toddler and Pre-School Center-based program. It includes advisement, an internship, and coursework on subjects such as child development, curriculum, health, safety, learning environment, family relationships, and professionalism. The internship, usually done in the candidates’ own workplace, offers them an opportunity to view their practice in light of reflection and new knowledge. The program’s advisement aspect helps students to further integrate theory and practice. In response to students’ needs, a literacy course was developed to help them read and write more effectively. Most of these students have been away from school for a long time and are looking for professional development opportunities that will lead to an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree. Bank Street has an articulation agreement with LaGuardia Community College/CUNY, which offers our CDA graduates ten college credits if they enroll in LaGuardia’s Associate in Arts Degree in Human Services/Child Development. One of our graduates from this program, Sandra Alleyne-LeGendre, is currently enrolled at LaGuardia Community College as a full-time student. Sandra maintains an “A” grade average despite a grueling schedule that includes classes four night a week, a full-time job at the Bedford Stuyvesant Early Childhood Development Center, and taking care of her two children. She credits the CDA program at the Head Start Training Institute. #
Arlene Uss is the Director, Center for Early Care and Education, Bank Street College.